08 October 2019

6 New Cookbooks I Love

6 cookbooks from October 2019If you're a reader, then you already know October is an awesome month for new book releases. But did you know October 2019 is turning out to be one of the most amazing cookbook months we've had in a long while?

In fact, I have so many cookbooks to cover, I've run out of Saturday Weekend Cooking space. Still I really need to share all the great new books with you. Thus I'm trying something different this month. Here's the breakdown of what to expect.

  • Twitter, Instagram, or Litsy (@BethFishReads): I have already posted some photos and stories of dishes I've made from October cookbooks. You'll see more throughout the month.
  • Weekend Cooking: I'm devoting Saturdays to books from the Abrams Dinner Party.
  • Today's Read: I have two Tuesdays devoted to individual cookbook or food writing reviews. Last Tuesday was Aaron Sanchez's new memoir, Where I Come From (from Abrams).
  • Mini-Reviews: Finally, I plan to write two posts devoted to mini reviews and features (today is the first one).
We're eating really well in the BFR household, and I'm having a ton of fun discovering new favorite recipes.

Now that you have the October cookbook scoop, let's get to the first batch of reviews, presented in no particular order. (Note: print or digital copies of all of these were provided by the publisher)

review of Wini Moranville's The Little Women CookbookI love collecting cookbooks with a literary theme and those celebrating favorite novels or authors. It should come as no surprise that Wini Moranville's The Little Women Cookbook (Harvard Common Press, Oct. 1) caught my eye. With this celebration of the 150th anniversary of Little Women in hand, you can re-create many of the foods and drinks mentioned in the story. Moranville took a three-pronged approach. First she made note of the many food references in the novel; then she looked a period cookbooks and archives to find recipes. Finally, she made sure those recipes were doable in modern times and tweaked them to 21st-century tastes. Each recipe is introduced with a quote or a blurb to tie it to Louisa May Alcott's book, and throughout the cookbook, you'll find other information about the Alcotts and about food in the mid-1800s. Marked to try: maple-cornmeal drop biscuits, chicken salad with grapes and almonds, Hannah's cottage pie.

Review of Maki Watanabe's Asian Noodles
One of the sad, sad things about my late-in-life peanut allergy is that I can't eat Asian food in restaurants. This is really hard because I love noodle-y food like pad Thai. Thank you Maki Watanabe, your new cookbook Asian Noodles (Tuttle, Oct. 29) is just what I needed. Now I can make my own noodle dishes from Vietnam, Thailand, China, Korea, and Japan at home. If a dish calls for peanuts, I can make a substitution. Here are a few things I really like about this cookbook: Each recipe is accompanied by a beautiful photo of the finished dish. I especially appreciate photos when I'm learning new techniques or working with new ingredients. Watanabe includes instructions for cooking the different kinds of Asian noodles to help make her recipes no-fail. I love the variety of dishes, including stir-fries, noodle bowls, soups, and desserts. Finally, you'll find tips and tricks and useful information scattered throughout the book. Recipe I tried: five-spice pork noodles (yum!) Marked to try: Taiwanese chicken noodles, chicken pho noodle soup, stir-fried mi fun with lots of vegetables.

review of Tartine by Elizabeth M. Prueitt and Chad RobertsonIt's really hard to believe that I bought my first Tartine cookbook a dozen years ago. The new Tartine by Elizabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson (Chronicle, Oct. 1) is a pastry and dessert book for today's baker. About half the book features updated versions of older recipes and the other half consists of new delights. Yes, the original recipes work just fine, but the new book includes gluten-free options, more whole grain breads, less sugar, new methods, and new ingredients. The cookbook contains gorgeous photos and recipes for everything from muffins to scones, pies, cookies, and cakes. One feature I really love is the "Kitchen Notes" sections that accompany many (all?) recipes. Here you'll find all kinds of tips, from how to transfer the dough to the pan to how to make substitutions and information on why a certain ingredient is called for. These are the gold mine of the cookbook. Marked to try: black tea blondies with caramel swirl, pecan maple pie with kumquats and bourbon, almond-lemon tea cake.

review of Ellie Krieger's Whole in OneOne of my go-to, totally reliable cookbook authors is Ellie Krieger and her new book, Whole in One (Da Capo, Oct. 15) speaks to me on a lot of levels. Her dishes are always healthful, and I love one-pot cooking (especially because I don't have a dishwasher). The recipes in this book are broken down by main ingredient: plant and dairy proteins; meats, fish, and fowl; and desserts and, as I've come to expect from Krieger, the recipes are straightforward, easy to follow, and use regular ole ingredients. The dishes are also popping with flavor. Here's more good news: most of the dishes can easily be make on a busy weeknight.  I suspect this cookbook will be well used in this house. Krieger starts with a discussion of needed equipment (yay for cast iron!), her thoughts on good food and nutrition, and suggested pantry items. Then come the tempting recipes. I didn't even bother to mark recipes, because, really, I could make everything in the book. Recipes I tried: broccoli Cheddar skillet strata (cast-iron skillet), herbed pork tenderloin with delicata squash and Brussels sprouts (sheet pan).

review of America's Test Kitchen Kids - The Complete Baking Book for Young ChefsLong, long ago, I drank the America's Test Kitchen Kool-Aid, and I've been a fan ever since. The newest book from America's Test Kitchen Kids is The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs (Sourcebooks Explore, Oct. 1). This book, like others in their Young Chefs series, is colorful, informative, and sometimes funny. The photos show a diverse group of kids baking up a storm, and each recipe includes notes and reviews from young recipe testers. As you can expect from ATK, the recipes may be suitable for youngsters but there is nothing childish about the results. In fact, although I've been cooking and baking for more years than I'm going to admit here, I learned a few things from the beginning chapter on ingredients, techniques, and tips. The kid testers' notes are really honest; for example, one girl said she hated squeezing the liquid out of shredded zucchini, but because her family loved the bread she baked, she decided it was worth it. Recipes include scones, quick breads, muffins, and a variety of yeasted breads -- even pretzels. If yeast scares you, start with the recipes in this book. Marked to try: cheese bread, pumpkin bread with chocolate chips, fluffy dinner rolls.

Review of Christopher Kimball's The New RulesI try to stay out of the food world's drama, so I have nothing to say about Christopher Kimball's departure from ATK or Cooks magazine. I still like his recipes and his veiw point on food and cooking (though I don't know much about Milk Street). His new cookbook is titled The New Rules (Voracious, Oct. 15), and its subtitle promises that the recipes "will change the way you cook." I haven't had much time to really delve into this one yet, but each of the 75 chapters takes you through a particular flavor, ingredient, technique, or dish. For example, you'll learn why a sheet pan is better than a traditional roasting pan, how to get the best flavor from garlic, how to use nuts with pasta dishes, and tricks for braising. Kimball presents each rule and then offers a couple of recipes that put that rule into action. There are also informative features, such as one about oils and their smoking points and a super one on spice blends. The recipes are appealing (Roman Braised Beef with Tomato and Cloves) but are omnivore heavy, so vegetarians and vegans might want to look before buying. I haven't marked any recipes in particular, but I'm interested in trying out several of the "new rules."


(Diane) bookchickdi 10/8/19, 6:50 AM  

There are so many great books here. I'm a big Ellie Kreieger fan too, so I'll be on the lookout for that one, and the Liitle Women one is such an intriguing concept.

rhapsodyinbooks 10/8/19, 7:18 AM  

These all look so good! I definitely need to look for the new Tartine cookbook!

bermudaonion 10/8/19, 8:09 AM  

I will be getting Whole in One for my mom for Christmas. Since she's only cooking for one these days, she likes dishes that use just one pot and I know you can't go wrong with Krieger.

Tina 10/8/19, 12:22 PM  

Tartine is a beautiful book. Love it. That sucks about your peanut allergy and until you posted about it a while back, I didn't know you could develop that sort of allergy as an adult. The Asian Noodle book is right up your alley then so you don't go without.

Vicki 10/8/19, 2:46 PM  

Great assortment of cookbooks, thanks for sharing them with us

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 10/8/19, 6:40 PM  

I like the looks and sound of all of these. I need to check a few out.

Heidenkind 10/8/19, 11:03 PM  

I haven’t been following the whole ATK/Kimball drama, but from what I gathered they think Milk Street is too similar to ATK. As opposed to Cook’s Country, which uses the same people and is practically the same show as ATK, but whatevs. The recipes from Milk Street are interesting, but personally I find I never want to make them. They either use ingredients hard to find in my area, or they just sound like a PITA.

Mae Travels 10/10/19, 7:57 AM  

So many new cookbooks! And there are so many old ones too... yesterday I shamelessly made an old favorite from a Sunset cookbook that's a million years old. And I know that's really considered not-gourmand at all.

These all sound very appealing, especially the noodle one, which doesn't duplicate (or quintuplicate) a cookbook that's already on my shelf.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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